Readings for Monday of the fourth week of Great Lent

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Genesis 27:1-41 ; Isaiah 14:24-32 ; Job 16:1-end ; Job 17:1-16 [Arabic]

Genesis 27:1-41
Now it came to pass, when Isaac was old and his eyes were so dim that he could not see, that he called Esau his older son and said to him, "My son."

And he answered him, "Here I am."

Then he said, "Behold now, I am old. I do not know the day of my death. Now therefore, please take your weapons, your quiver and your bow, and go out to the field and hunt game for me. And make me savory food, such as I love, and bring it to me that I may eat, that my soul may bless you before I die."

Now Rebekah was listening when Isaac spoke to Esau his son. And Esau went to the field to hunt game and to bring it. So Rebekah spoke to Jacob her son, saying, "Indeed I heard your father speak to Esau your brother, saying, "Bring me game and make savory food for me, that I may eat it and bless you in the presence of the LORD before my death.' Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to what I command you. Go now to the flock and bring me from there two choice kids of the goats, and I will make savory food from them for your father, such as he loves. Then you shall take it to your father, that he may eat it, and that he may bless you before his death."

And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, "Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing."

But his mother said to him, "Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me." And he went and got them and brought them to his mother, and his mother made savory food, such as his father loved. Then Rebekah took the choice clothes of her elder son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And she put the skins of the kids of the goats on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. Then she gave the savory food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.

So he went to his father and said, "My father."

And he said, "Here I am. Who are you, my son?"

Jacob said to his father, "I am Esau your firstborn; I have done just as you told me; please arise, sit and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me."

But Isaac said to his son, "How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?"

And he said, "Because the LORD your God brought it to me."

Isaac said to Jacob, "Please come near, that I may feel you, my son, whether you are really my son Esau or not." So Jacob went near to Isaac his father, and he felt him and said, "The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the hands of Esau." And he did not recognize him, because his hands were hairy like his brother Esau's hands; so he blessed him.

Then he said, "Are you really my son Esau?"

He said, "I am."

He said, "Bring it near to me, and I will eat of my son's game, so that my soul may bless you." So he brought it near to him, and he ate; and he brought him wine, and he drank. Then his father Isaac said to him, "Come near now and kiss me, my son." And he came near and kissed him; and he smelled the smell of his clothing, and blessed him and said:
        "Surely, the smell of my son
        Is like the smell of a field
        Which the LORD has blessed.
        Therefore may God give you
        Of the dew of heaven,
        Of the fatness of the earth,
        And plenty of grain and wine.
        Let peoples serve you,
        And nations bow down to you.
        Be master over your brethren,
        And let your mother's sons bow down to you.
        Cursed be everyone who curses you,
        And blessed be those who bless you!"

Now it happened, as soon as Isaac had finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely gone out from the presence of Isaac his father, that Esau his brother came in from his hunting. He also had made savory food, and brought it to his father, and said to his father, "Let my father arise and eat of his son's game, that your soul may bless me."

And his father Isaac said to him, "Who are you?"

So he said, "I am your son, your firstborn, Esau."

Then Isaac trembled exceedingly, and said, "Who? Where is the one who hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it before you came, and I have blessed him--and indeed he shall be blessed."

When Esau heard the words of his father, he cried with an exceedingly great and bitter cry, and said to his father, "Bless me--me also, O my father!"

But he said, "Your brother came with deceit and has taken away your blessing."

And Esau said, "Is he not rightly named Jacob? For he has supplanted me these two times. He took away my birthright, and now look, he has taken away my blessing!" And he said, "Have you not reserved a blessing for me?"

Then Isaac answered and said to Esau, "Indeed I have made him your master, and all his brethren I have given to him as servants; with grain and wine I have sustained him. What shall I do now for you, my son?"

And Esau said to his father, "Have you only one blessing, my father? Bless me--me also, O my father!" And Esau lifted up his voice and wept.

Then Isaac his father answered and said to him:
        "Behold, your dwelling shall be of the fatness of the earth,
        And of the dew of heaven from above.
        By your sword you shall live,
        And you shall serve your brother;
        And it shall come to pass, when you become restless,
        That you shall break his yoke from your neck."

So Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father blessed him, and Esau said in his heart, "The days of mourning for my father are at hand; then I will kill my brother Jacob."

Isaiah 14:24-32

The LORD of hosts has sworn, saying,
        "Surely, as I have thought, so it shall come to pass,
        And as I have purposed, so it shall stand:
        That I will break the Assyrian in My land,
        And on My mountains tread him underfoot.
        Then his yoke shall be removed from them,
        And his burden removed from their shoulders.
        This is the purpose that is purposed against the whole earth,
        And this is the hand that is stretched out over all the nations.
        For the LORD of hosts has purposed,
        And who will annul it?
        His hand is stretched out,
        And who will turn it back?"

This is the burden which came in the year that King Ahaz died.
        "Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia,
        Because the rod that struck you is broken;
        For out of the serpent's roots will come forth a viper,
        And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.
        The firstborn of the poor will feed,
        And the needy will lie down in safety;
        I will kill your roots with famine,
        And it will slay your remnant.
        Wail, O gate! Cry, O city!
        All you of Philistia are dissolved;
        For smoke will come from the north,
        And no one will be alone in his appointed times."
        What will they answer the messengers of the nation?
        That the LORD has founded Zion,
        And the poor of His people shall take refuge in it.

Job 16:1-end ; Job 17:1-16
Then Job answered and said:
        "I have heard many such things;
        Miserable comforters are you all!
        Shall words of wind have an end?
        Or what provokes you that you answer?
        I also could speak as you do,
        If your soul were in my soul's place.
        I could heap up words against you,
        And shake my head at you;
        But I would strengthen you with my mouth,
        And the comfort of my lips would relieve your grief.
        "Though I speak, my grief is not relieved;
        And if I remain silent, how am I eased?
        But now He has worn me out;
        You have made desolate all my company.
        You have shriveled me up,
        And it is a witness against me;
        My leanness rises up against me
        And bears witness to my face.
        He tears me in His wrath, and hates me;
        He gnashes at me with His teeth;
        My adversary sharpens His gaze on me.
        They gape at me with their mouth,
        They strike me reproachfully on the cheek,
        They gather together against me.
        God has delivered me to the ungodly,
        And turned me over to the hands of the wicked.
        I was at ease, but He has shattered me;
        He also has taken me by my neck, and shaken me to pieces;
        He has set me up for His target,
        His archers surround me.
        He pierces my heart and does not pity;
        He pours out my gall on the ground.
        He breaks me with wound upon wound;
        He runs at me like a warrior.
        "I have sewn sackcloth over my skin,
        And laid my head in the dust.
        My face is flushed from weeping,
        And on my eyelids is the shadow of death;
        Although no violence is in my hands,
        And my prayer is pure.
        "O earth, do not cover my blood,
        And let my cry have no resting place!
        Surely even now my witness is in heaven,
        And my evidence is on high.
        My friends scorn me;
        My eyes pour out tears to God.
        Oh, that one might plead for a man with God,
        As a man pleads for his neighbor!
        For when a few years are finished,
        I shall go the way of no return. "My spirit is broken,
        My days are extinguished,
        The grave is ready for me.
        Are not mockers with me?
        And does not my eye dwell on their provocation?
        "Now put down a pledge for me with Yourself.
        Who is he who will shake hands with me?
        For You have hidden their heart from understanding;
        Therefore You will not exalt them.
        He who speaks flattery to his friends,
        Even the eyes of his children will fail.
        "But He has made me a byword of the people,
        And I have become one in whose face men spit.
        My eye has also grown dim because of sorrow,
        And all my members are like shadows.
        Upright men are astonished at this,
        And the innocent stirs himself up against the hypocrite.
        Yet the righteous will hold to his way,
        And he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.
        "But please, come back again, all of you,
        For I shall not find one wise man among you.
        My days are past,
        My purposes are broken off,
        Even the thoughts of my heart.
        They change the night into day;
        "The light is near,' they say, in the face of darkness.
        If I wait for the grave as my house,
        If I make my bed in the darkness,
        If I say to corruption, "You are my father,'
        And to the worm, "You are my mother and my sister,'
        Where then is my hope?
        As for my hope, who can see it?
        Will they go down to the gates of Sheol?
        Shall we have rest together in the dust?"


Psalm 55:1 ; Psalm 27: 7,8 [Arabic]

Give ear to my prayer, O God,
And do not hide Yourself from my supplication.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."


Luke 14:7-15 [Arabic]

So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them: "When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him; and he who invited you and him come and say to you, "Give place to this man,' and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, "Friend, go up higher.' Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted."

Then He also said to him who invited Him, "When you give a dinner or a supper, do not ask your friends, your brothers, your relatives, nor rich neighbors, lest they also invite you back, and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind. And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just."

Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"


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Pauline Epistle

Romans 8:12-26 [Arabic]

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors--not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs--heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.


Catholic Epistle

James 5:16-20 [Arabic]

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.

Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.



Acts 11:2-18 [Arabic]

And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those of the circumcision contended with him, saying, "You went in to uncircumcised men and ate with them!"

But Peter explained it to them in order from the beginning, saying: "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, an object descending like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came to me. When I observed it intently and considered, I saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, "Rise, Peter; kill and eat.' But I said, "Not so, Lord! For nothing common or unclean has at any time entered my mouth.' But the voice answered me again from heaven, "What God has cleansed you must not call common.' Now this was done three times, and all were drawn up again into heaven. At that very moment, three men stood before the house where I was, having been sent to me from Caesarea. Then the Spirit told me to go with them, doubting nothing. Moreover these six brethren accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. And he told us how he had seen an angel standing in his house, who said to him, "Send men to Joppa, and call for Simon whose surname is Peter, who will tell you words by which you and all your household will be saved.' And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them, as upon us at the beginning. Then I remembered the word of the Lord, how He said, "John indeed baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"

When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."



The Departure of St. Hosea, the Prophet.
The Martyrdom of St. Zadok and the 128 who were with Him.



Psalm 55:16-17 [Arabic]

As for me, I will call upon God,
And the LORD shall save me.
Evening and morning and at noon
I will pray, and cry aloud,
And He shall hear my voice.



Luke 16:1-9 [Arabic]

He also said to His disciples: "There was a certain rich man who had a steward, and an accusation was brought to him that this man was wasting his goods. So he called him and said to him, "What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your stewardship, for you can no longer be steward.'

"Then the steward said within himself, "What shall I do? For my master is taking the stewardship away from me. I cannot dig; I am ashamed to beg. I have resolved what to do, that when I am put out of the stewardship, they may receive me into their houses.'

"So he called every one of his master's debtors to him, and said to the first, "How much do you owe my master?' And he said, "A hundred measures of oil.' So he said to him, "Take your bill, and sit down quickly and write fifty.' Then he said to another, "And how much do you owe?' So he said, "A hundred measures of wheat.' And he said to him, "Take your bill, and write eighty.' So the master commended the unjust steward because he had dealt shrewdly. For the sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.

"And I say to you, make friends for yourselves by unrighteous mammon, that when you fail, they may receive you into an everlasting home.

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